Holiday Traditions of Sending Gifts to The UK
Everyone loves receiving gifts, but giving gifts may become a problem, especially if your recipient lives in another country, such as the UK. Rich in traditions, this country has its own gift giving etiquette one should follow when selecting a proper gift to send to the UK for special occasions.
The first thing to remember when choosing a gift for the British is that a gift giving is not something that is typically expected in the UK. Your gift shouldn't be too big and expensive; instead it should be moderate, tasteful, and useful. Thus, the most appropriate offerings are different gift baskets - particularly gourmet baskets or fruit baskets filled with dainties. For the biggest holidays such as New Year's, Christmas, Easter, Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, weddings, or birthdays - anytime people gather together for a great feast - an exquisite gourmet basket overflowing with delicious treats or a luscious fruit basket bursting with flavor and vitamins are ideal options for any palate! If you want to indulge a sweet tooth, a fine chocolate basket is the best solution! A gift basket brimming with sweets and chocolates is a most suitable gift to children on Christmas and Halloween and also an ideal romantic gift to women on Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, May Day, or for birthdays.
It's no secret that the British are the biggest tea lovers in the world; so they will be extremely happy to receive a Tea Gift Basket. Regardless of the recipient, men and women alike will delight in a treasure trove of tea on New Year's, Christmas, Boxing Day, Father's Day, or for birthdays.
Spirits Gift Baskets or Wine Gift Baskets are sometimes a matter of personal taste. They are often considered classic corporate or business gifts, meant mostly for men, business associates, colleagues, bosses, or seniors to say 'thank you,' and 'congratulations,' or to celebrate Father's Day. Champagne Gift Baskets, however, are always welcome and will be gladly accepted even on family celebrations.
Being nature and garden lovers, the British are fond of flowers, so a lush Flower Basket will arouse admiration and gratitude. Luxurious Flower Baskets are wonderful personal and romantic gifts, especially at weddings, on Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, and for birthdays as well as for formal and business gifts.
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Most Celebrated National Holidays
March 22 - April 25 - Easter
Easter in the UK is one of the major festivals of the year; traditionally, during this time, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus three days after his death. Since the date of the Christian holiday also corresponds to the timing of pagan rites that celebrate fertility and spring renewal, Easter eggs, games, feasting, and fun activities have all become a part of the festivities, even though the main celebrations take place in churches. This holiday celebrated with a wide range of customs, folklore, and traditional foods. One of the most important secular symbols of Easter in the UK is the Easter Bunny. He 'hides' Easter eggs in houses, and children search to find these treats on Easter Sunday. It is also customary to give Easter eggs, sweets, and other gifts to friends and relatives on Easter.
May 1st Monday - May Day
May Day in the UK marks the beginning of summer; it's the time when flowers and trees start to blossom. May Day celebrations have their origins in the Roman festival of Flora, goddess of fruit and flowers. It was held annually from April 28th to May 3rd. Nowadays, May Day in the UK is said to be a time of love and romance. It is when people celebrate the coming of summer with lots of different customs that are expressions of joy and hope after a long winter.
May 2nd Sunday - Mother's Day
Mother's Day is an annual holiday that recognizes mothers, motherhood, and maternal bonds in general, as well the positive contributions that women make to society. For millions of mothers across the world and in the UK, it is time for breakfast in bed, family gatherings, gifts, bouquets of flowers, and crayon scribbled I-Love-Yous.
May 31 - Spring Bank Holiday
(Spring Bank Holiday)
For many people living in the UK, the Spring Bank Holiday is a pleasant day off work or school. Some people take a short vacation. Others use the time to walk in the country, catch up with family and friends, visit garden centers, or do spring cleaning. In some parts of the United Kingdom, there are some interesting traditions associated with this day; for instance, in Gloucestershire people chase a large cheese down Cooper's Hill, while in Staffordshire they perform the Morris Dance and men see who can throw a bale of hay the highest.
June 3d Sunday - Father's Day
Father's Day is a day to honor fathers for everything they have done for their children. The British take this opportunity to express gratitude to their fathers by telling them how much they are loved and appreciated. Generally, children present their fathers with a bouquet of flowers, chocolates, a greeting card, or a gift basket. Nowadays, people in the UK celebrate this occasion also with their grandfathers, fathers-in-law, uncles, stepfathers, or other men who are caring and protective in their lives.
July 13 - Orangemen's Day
August last Monday - Summer Bank Holiday
(Summer Bank Holiday)
The Summer Bank Holiday marks the end of the summer holidays for many people in the UK who return to work or school in the autumn. Some people take road trips during the three day weekend. Others take advantage of another opportunity to work in their gardens or carry out home improvements.
October 31 - Halloween
Halloween is a holiday celebrated every year in Australia on October 31. Some people hold Halloween parties on or around this date, at which the hosts and guests often dress up as skeletons, ghosts, super heroes, or other scary (and even comical) figures. Many parties are aimed at children, although some have a distinctly adult nature. In some areas, children go trick-or-treating. This means that they dress up in costumes and go to other peoples' houses where they knock on the door and demand a 'treat' - usually sweets or a snack. They threaten that if they do not get a treat, they will carry out a trick on the inhabitant of the house, but do not normally make good on the threat (even if a household has run out of candy).
November 1 - All Saints Day
(All Saints Day)
All Saints Day is a holiday when people take the day off work and go to cemeteries bringing flowers and candles to the graves of passed relatives. Presents are also given to children, usually sweets and toys.
November 30 - St. Andrew's Day
(St. Andrew's Day)
December 25 - Christmas Day
Christmas is one of the biggest celebrations for people belonging to the Christian faith. Christmas activities in the UK include caroling, feasting, praying, and gift giving. Many people spend this holiday with family members, with whom they exchange gifts and cards. Many children wake up to find a sock or stocking filled with small gifts and chocolates on their bed or somewhere else in the house. The delivery of these gifts is attributed to a mythical figure called 'Santa Claus' who is said to bring gifts to good children all over the world. Later in the day, people may attend special church services, even if they do not usually go to church. Nearly everyone prepares and eats a special meal. This often includes roast turkey, potatoes, parsnips, and other vegetables. After the main course, Christmas pudding is often eaten.
December 26 - Boxing Day
Boxing Day in the UK is a time to recover from the excesses of Christmas day and an opportunity to spent time with family, friends, and neighbors. Some people choose to go for a walk in the countryside, while others flock to the post-Christmas sales in large stores that often begin on Boxing Day. Boxing Day in the UK is also an important day for sports events. Traditionally, using dogs to hunt for foxes was a popular sport amongst the upper classes. Pictures of hunters on horseback dressed in red coats and surrounded by hunting dogs are often seen as symbolic of Boxing Day.
January 1 - New Year's Day
(New Year's Day)
New Year's in the UK is celebrated on January 1 according to the Gregorian calendar. It is the biggest night of the year, and it is usually celebrated either at home with family and friends or at a pub or club. Midnight parties, lavish meals, champagnes, music, dance, fireworks, and presents are the important parts of New Year's festivities in the UK. Another significant part of the celebrations, apart from parties and meals, is the biggest New Year's parade. Musicians, dancers, acrobats, and other entertainers do a splendid job of making the event the most distinguished one on the calendar.
February 14 - Valentine's Day
Some popular sources indicate that the Valentine's Day Festival originated in pagan times when people celebrated the fertility rite of Lupercalia on February 13th-15th; other sources credit the date to a celebration of the sacrifice of a Christian martyr named St. Valentine. All sources agree that it was Geoffrey Chaucer who connected the celebration with lovers in his poem Parlement of Foules in 1382. These days, Valentine's Day is essentially regarded as festival that celebrates love between both lovers and individuals. People wish 'Happy Valentine's Day' to parents, teachers, siblings, friends, and any other special person in their lives. Though there are various traditions and customs associated with the festival, the most popular way of celebrating Valentine's Day in the UK is by expressing love to sweethearts and dear ones with an exchange of gifts. Some of the most traditional Valentine's Day gifts are fresh flowers, chocolates, and cards.
April 2 - Good Friday